Globe at Night Project : 16th - 28th March

What does it mean to really look at the stars? When you observe the heavens, do you see an endless patchwork of glittering jewels set against a deep velvet black sky, or do you only see a dozen or so pinpricks of light struggling to shine through the soft amber glow of streetlights? The Globe at Night project aims to generate a better understanding of how streetlights can affect the way in which we see the night sky.

World at Night
Composite image of the Earth at night, showing the proliferation of street lights - Credit: NASA

Schools and families are being encouraged to participate in a global campaign to observe and record the magnitude (or brightness) of visible stars as a means of measuring light pollution in a given location. Contributions from students all over the world will be added to an online database that will document the visible night-time sky during a 12 day period running from the 16th to the 28th March 2009. Participants will learn how to locate the Orion constellation, and that stars have different magnitudes of brightness in the night sky. This activity also develops an understanding of how latitude and longitude coordinates can provide a location system that helps to map and analyse observations submitted from around the globe.

If you would like to particpate in this exciting project, then pick up an activity pack from the Globe at Night website.